Tag Archive | "Joe Paterno"

Joe Paterno Statue

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Who Do You Think You are NCAA?

Posted on 23 July 2012 by Brett Dickinson

Everyone knows all the details of the story. Sandusky was more than inappropriate with minors, Paterno and the Heads of Penn State did not to action as decent human beings and the university has lost all credibility.

Now the NCAA has felt the need to make their stamp on the football program; a program that allowed such monstrous acts. But is it really their fault; did the players, assistants, water boys, equipment managers, cheerleaders or the fans have any knowledge of this horrific situation? With the current sanctions against the school, the NCAA President, Mark Emmert certainly thinks so.

Paterno has already been fired, his legacy destroyed, his statue removed and lost his life over this ordeal. No one will argue that he deserved a more fair treatment from the community. But this punishment brought down on Penn State goes too far. Vacating wins off Paterno’s record to ensure he no longer holds the all-time record is one thing; taking those wins away from the kids who poured their heart and soul into the 1998-2011 seasons is simply unjust. Remove the head coach from books, do not remove the team.

Why are those individuals being punished for the terrible acts of a select few? 111 times, a unit of student-athletes took the field together, yet those 111 times are no longer recognized. How can Mr. Emmert look any of those players in the eye and say “this problem is partly your fault, you do not deserve to be rewarded.” Did these people do anything wrong at all? Nothing about this controversy was a football program violation; it was a university violation by its strongest contributors. The legacy of those at fault are now destroyed, like you intended NCAA, but at the cost of thousands of innocent bystanders.

Bowl Bans and scholarship reductions only punish the future of a distraught community. Penn State could rally around Bill O’Brien and a team that stands up in the face of adversity. Instead, they are hindered by monsters of the past; monsters that will have absolutely no relation to the incoming class of Nittany Lions four years from now. How are the current staff and players supposed to help this program move forward? The NCAA has set up O’Brien to fail.

And that is the only the first part of the sanctions. The NCAA is also stealing $60 million from the University. Why do they feel entitled to this money? What did they exactly do to deserve this jackpot? Even if they do not take a single dime of that fine (which is highly unlikely with their checkered past of greed), a nice tax break is in order for the mass amounts of charitable donations planned. Emmert wants PSU to become a haven for sexual abuse awareness; $60 million would certainly be good start to developing that program.

For a “legal” matter, the NCAA certainly has stuck their nose in, and returned winners. The NCAA’s power is limited to making a fair culture for all sports programs to compete, not to destroy a program over a legal matter. The University of Miami Football program has repeatedly been caught cheating (a department the NCAA is supposed to focus on), yet they will still return next season basically unscathed. Cam Newton led Auburn to a National Title, while it was proven his father was paid by the university for his “son’s services.” Where were you then Mr. Emmert? I recall Reggie Bush returning his Heisman trophy for the same exact situation. Worry about issues you are supposed to handle; let the government handle the rest.

Who do you think you are Mark Emmert? Who do you think you are NCAA?

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Your Monday Reality Check: Can’t believe I’m saying this. Thank you Debbie Yow.

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Your Monday Reality Check: Can’t believe I’m saying this. Thank you Debbie Yow.

Posted on 23 July 2012 by Glenn Clark

By the time you’re reading this, you may already know the details.

There are significant rumors swirling regarding what type of penalties Penn State University will be handed down Monday by the NCAA, but they seem to be consistent. It appears as though PSU football will lose bowl eligibility for multiple seasons, suffer multiple scholarship reductions and be fined tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. There could be more handed down by NCAA President Mark Emmert, there could be more handed down by the Big Ten Conference.

The penalties coming just after a statue of former Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno was removed from outside Beaver Stadium in State College. The penalties have been explained as being less than “the death penalty” famously handed down to Southern Methodist University over 20 years ago by the NCAA. The penalties however are thought to be potentially as bad as possible while football is still allowed to be played.

I’ve thought a lot about the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State over the last year. I’ve written a good bit about Sandusky, Paterno and others in recent weeks. I’ve spoken even more during the course of my radio show. I guess I would describe myself as “fascinated” with the story. I will work under the assumption that I’m not the only one.

Some will debate the merits of the penalty handed down by the NCAA. I’ll probably work with the thought that there isn’t a penalty that I’d consider too strong. I’m not sure how much more really needs to be said about that, truthfully.

I’ll admit that the one statement I can’t help but continuously repeat over and over again is “Thank God I’m not at all associated with Penn State.” Thank God I don’t have to think about this. Thank God I don’t have to feel any culpability and guilt towards the fact that I worshipped a coach and a program that was willing to risk the wellbeing of children in order to protect their own reverence. Thank God I never helped build a community where sport was more important than human life.

But a particular Facebook post I came across this weekend caught me off guard and made me think a bit. HFS morning show host Maynard Edwards mockingly posted about the Baltimore Ravens’ re-signing of RB Ray Rice earlier this week, jesting about his overall lack of concern about the sport of football. He followed up a question about why he didn’t like football with a particularly interesting answer…

Our national obsession with that particular sport I believe has gotten a tad bit out of hand. I realize it didn’t happen in the NFL, but when we(‘ve) got people more willing to go along with the (rape) of children in order to preserve a stupid game, we might need to do a national (gut) check on that.

For the sake of full disclosure, Maynard Edwards is one of the first people that helped me get into the radio industry. He’s also the last person I would have thought I would have ever quoted in a sports column.

It’s an interesting thought process. Perhaps the culture created by rapid Penn State fans that believed “football above all” was more about the culture of the game itself. Perhaps all football fans at all levels (NFL, college, high school) need to ask themselves if their obsession with the game would interfere with their ability to do the right thing and take a stand against a criminal.

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Reports: Paterno statue to be removed this weekend

Posted on 20 July 2012 by WNST Staff

NFL Network’s Kim Jones and CBS’ Bonnie Bernstein each Tweeted Friday news regarding the future of the Joe Paterno statue outside Beaver Stadium.

Jones, a Penn State alum, said via Twitter “Am told that Penn State plans to take down the Paterno statue this weekend.” Bernstein said “Source: Penn State Board of Trustees voted on a conference call last night to take down Joe Paterno statue. Will happen this wknd.”

PSU officials however have not confirmed such reports when asked by various outlets. One actual denial of the report came from Daily Collegian (the student newspaper at Penn State) reporter Laura Nichols, who quoted Board member Ryan McCombie as saying “We did no such thing.”

The Paterno statue has been the subject of much debate since last week’s release of the Louis Freeh report on the Jerry Sandusky scandal in State College. Earlier in the a plane flew over Happy Valley with the message “take the statue down or we will.” A handful of Penn State students had camped out near the statue this week to protect it.

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Your Monday Reality Check: Cult of Paterno still dangerously strong

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Your Monday Reality Check: Cult of Paterno still dangerously strong

Posted on 16 July 2012 by Glenn Clark

Have you ever read the short story “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson?

The story is quite famous. At Perry Hall High School I probably had to read it at least twice. Perhaps even if you haven’t read it you’d be familiar with one of the many pop culture references to the story.

Let me try to jog your memory a bit with an even shorter version of the short story. Every year, members of a village gather together for an event known as “the lottery.” One member of every household in the village grabs a slip of paper hoping to avoid grabbing the marked slip. After it is determined who picked the marked slip, every member of the person’s household re-selects slips. They then determine which household member has selected the marked slip and promptly stone that person to death.

Yep.

In the lottery captured by the short story, the marked slip was initially selected by Bill Hutchinson. His wife Tessie Hutchinson was the unfortunate “winner” of the lottery, bemoaning how the process was “unfair” before her end.

As gruesome as the story sounds, there’s such a level of brilliance to it. Particularly brilliant is how Jackson never really explains how the lottery came about or why the village continues to participate in the exercise. It is understood that some members of the village have discussed disbanding the lottery but the tradition continues nonetheless.

During the entire Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal that has engulfed Penn State University, I’ve thought about the short story over and over again. I thought about it the night PSU students rioted after the firing of head coach Joe Paterno. I thought about in the weeks and months after Paterno’s death. I’ve thought about it a ton during the days since the release of the Freeh Report.

I’ve thought about it because it has remained clear that the cult-like following of Paterno and Penn State football has somehow continued and the culture that enabled such heinous crimes to continue still very clearly exists.

I’ve mostly thought about it because I believe at least some if not many of the Cult of Paterno members have to be otherwise right-thinking individuals. I don’t know why those villagers kept going back to participate in the lottery year after year in Jackson’s story. I don’t know why a group of college-educated people choose to ignore (or at least excuse) fact and simply say they’ll support their former head coach anyway.

Maybe I shouldn’t say I don’t know why. I probably do. The fact is that the Cult of Paterno just doesn’t want to believe truth because they’ve already consumed the Kool-Aid. There is no going back. They’re not just members of the cult, they’ve become the foundation after the coach’s death.

(I want to take this time to point out what most other analysts have also done. This is not a conversation about everyone everywhere that has been connected to Penn State. This is a conversation about a particular group of people. Some Penn State students, alumni and fans have been able to stand up and accept the truth about their heroes and the football program they worship. I’ve had the good fortune of speaking to many of them in the past week. They deserve a great deal of credit. They are not part of the Cult of Paterno.)

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Bough Breaking, Cradle Falling

Posted on 12 July 2012 by derekandrews

The Freeh Report released today confirmed that, “senior leaders showed total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims.” In the beginning of the arrest of Jerry Sandusky, the focus was more on Joe Paterno and the football program than on the number of victims that courageously stood strong to reveal the hurtful and painful experiences of being sexually abused.

The overwhelming support for Joe Paterno and not for the child victims shocked me to the core, and showed the willingness to protect powerful sports programs and the revenue brought to organizations, in this case, to the university. For those who still believe it’s about football, need to reexamine their moral standing.

Don’t get me wrong, Joe Paterno’s legacy is still legendary, but the fact of the matter is, in a time to stand for something outside of the awe of Penn State, Paterno didn’t use his great power or influence to save lives. He did the right thing by telling someone, but that wasn’t a matter of allocation of money, or a student-athlete’s off-the-field issues, it was about the victims of sexual abuse. It deserved more than just telling your boss.

Going to Tim Curley, the university’s AD, wasn’t proactive enough, because it was about protecting the university’s image. Following protocol is standard, but in this case, follow-through is more important. If nothing is done, then action is necessary immediately. In this case, it was taken out of the hands of law enforcement and state officials. These steps weren’t taken and as a result, put shame on the university and the State College community.

Justice has been served for those victims. These tragic events don’t define the life of Joe Paterno and others, but it does give those of us who are destined for leadership a frightful example of the necessity in taking proactive steps when dealing with serious ethical dilemmas.

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